☕️ WAR EDITION ☙ Friday, February 24, 2023 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
All your war news in one place today; great developments in Tennessee; celebrity SADS; California vs. Florida; a little local interest story makes a great example; and more.
Happy Friday, C&C! As promised, I have a big war mini-roundup for you this morning and some thoughts on what it all means. Plus: Goya rides to the rescue; more celebrity SADS; another win in California’s Supreme Court protects kids from local school jab mandates; California sees a teeny-tiny shortfall from its projected tax revenues; the great big war roundup; Tennessee lawmakers push back in the culture wars; and a little local interest story is a great example of the growing slow, steady pushback against pandemic overreach.
🗞*WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🍗 Goya Foods generously sent aid to the folks in East Palestine yesterday.
In addition to being a wonderful gift by a great company, this story is an example of the new power of independent media. Corporate media utterly failed East Palestine. The tiny town only became a household word this month through the efforts of non-traditional reporters and bloggers, along with newly-freed Twitter.
And now, FEMA is in, federal aid is coming and most important, the people of East Palestine aren’t being gaslit about what happened to them.
Tucker interviewed local residents who don’t seem to be reassured by little Pete Buttigieg’s visit yesterday. If anything, they seemed even more skeptical:
💉 The San Francisco Chronicle ran an uplifting story Wednesday headlined, “School Districts Can’t Require COVID Vaccines, California Supreme Court Affirms.”
In December 2021, a California court struck down the San Diego School System’s local vaccine mandate for kids attending district schools. The School District appealed, and in November 2022, the appellate court upheld the lower court and denied the appeal.
This time, the District did not appeal, but two charter schools and a former state senator, Dr. Richard Pan, asked the California Supreme Court for a limited type of relief: They asked the Supreme Court to let the decision stand, but to make it “unpublished,” meaning that it could never be cited by any future case and would not bind any other California courts or school districts.
But on Wednesday, the California Supreme Court denied their request, declining to modify the case in any way, leaving it as binding, citable precedent. It will now take a State law to mandate covid vaccines in California — districts can’t do it for themselves.
💉 Actor Jansen Panettiere, 28, a child star of the 2000s and brother of actress Hayden Panettiere, had his final curtain call Sunday when he suddenly and unexpectedly died AT HOME. After Jansen missed a meeting Sunday morning, his friends went to his house and found him dead, sitting upright in a chair.
Now that’s sudden.
They have no idea what killed Jansen, totally baffled, except they’ve ruled out foul play, and of course we know the one thing that it could not possibly have been, because that one thing is 100% safe and effective according to the CDC and can’t hurt anybody.
💉 Popular actor Cody Longo, 34, who appeared on “Days of Our Lives” and “Nashville,” among others, died suddenly and unexpectedly on February 10th after an unidentified “brief illness.” In other words, he died overnight and was found in bed. He leaves behind his wife, Stephanie Clark, and their two young children.
Reports explained that after Cody did not answer repeated calls, Stephanie called for a welfare check, and Cody was found dead in his bed in one of the family’s residences in Austin, Texas.
USA Today reported no cause of death has been provided. Following the usual bizarre recent template, media is cheerfully reporting everything Cody ever did wrong, such as being arrested ten years ago for domestic assault after an argument with his wife, and going to rehab once for alcohol-related issues. I guess the age-old rule about not speaking ill of the dead no longer applies to young celebrities who die suddenly.
🔥 Democrats complained hysterically last month when Governor DeSantis bragged about Florida’s billion-dollar budget surplus. They whined loudly that, thanks to federal pandemic relief, any large, tourist-heavy state could have done that too.
Or maybe not. Yesterday Fox News ran a story headlined, “Gavin Newsom Predicted Massive Budget Deficit For California. Reality Was Even Worse, Analysis Finds.”
Oops! California received substantially more federal aid than did Florida, even though the states’ populations are similar, and Florida has an older population more susceptible to covid. And still somehow, with all that federal aid, California derailed its finances right into the creek of mismanagement.
Fox’s story included a laughably ironic sub-headline, which honestly I’d have thought Fox would have avoided: “Despite California’s high taxes, legislature’s budget analyst expects state tax revenues to drop.” Hahaha, DESPITE the high taxes! It’s so simple! To raise revenues, just increase tax rates!
Basic economics — supply and demand — says if you increase the price of something, demand falls. Taxes increase the price of everything, so people use less everything. Income taxes increase the price of labor. When you raise income taxes, people use less labor. It’s not hard.
But according to Fox, and probably most democrats in California, the solution is obvious. They just haven’t raised the tax rates high enough! Raise them higher! Right now, California already has the highest top income tax rate of any state at 13.3%. So why not make it 100%? That would REALLY increase tax revenues. That’s science, right there. Don’t be a denier.
In California, despite massive federal aid payments, and despite having the country’s highest income tax rate, its January monthly tax revenue was about -$14 billion lower than last year’s tax receipts. That’s a pretty big shift in the wrong direction. Meanwhile, the 2022-2023 fiscal year, which started last July, is running -$23 billion less than 2021-2022 at the same point.
The story is especially ironic considering that Newsom projected a $97.5 billion surplus for this year. Maybe its not surprising Fox ended its article reporting, “Newsom’s office didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.”
🚀 A lot has been developing lately in the U.S. Proxy War with Russia that is taking place in the vicinity of Ukraine. The biggest news is that China has now officially aligned with Russia, and instead of backing down, the Biden Administration has begun assembling a package of sanctions to punish China. So now it appears we are at Proxy War with two superpowers, Russia and China, at the same time.
In what I guess is a response to Biden going to Ukraine, Chinese President Xi made a history trip to Russia Wednesday. Here are presidents Putin and Xi making beautiful crepes and toasts together. I’m not sure I get the precise intended metaphor or whatever, but I do get the general idea, and it’s not a great sign for the West.
UPDATE: Although making the rounds as a current shot, the ‘crepes’ picture above is actually from 2018, underscoring the difficulty of getting reliable news from the Proxy War. Corporate media barely covered this week’s meeting. Here’s one I could find:
Yesterday President Xi called for a cease-fire and a peace agreement over Ukraine. “Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis,” the 12-point position paper stated. “All efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis must be encouraged and supported.”
Gee, thanks, Joe. So … what is the United States’ position on a peace deal for Ukraine? The Biden Administration says no peace deal. We’ll keep fighting there “as long as it takes.”
As long as it takes to do what? Tucker pointed out that corporate media has never asked Biden that question.
Tucker stated the obvious: what appears to really be going on is that the United States is trying to win World War III against both Russia and China.
Escalations continue on both sides. This week, Russia either partially withdrew from the START nuclear reductions treaty or “suspended” its participation in the treaty, according to various reports.
Meanwhile Israel, which will be central to any world conflict, appears to be losing faith in the Biden Administration, as it should, and is probably planning an attack against Iran to stop the muslim nation from developing its first nuclear weapons, which most analysts think would be immediately deployed against Israel.
Israel is right to consider acting without the United States. Biden will never, ever, ever, green-light an attack on Iran, no matter what happens and no matter how bad things get. Despite the CIA’s best efforts trying to manufacture a color revolution in Iran by ginning up a national protest over the hijab and undermining Iran’s currency, Iran is still hanging in there, not overthrown, and is racing toward a final nuclear solution to its ancient dispute with the Israelis.
On Wednesday, Russian President Putin gave an electrifying “State of the Country” speech. In it, he accused the United States specifically, and the West generally, of moral depravity and degeneracy. Here’s a short clip of his speech:
Referring directly to America, Putin said, “See what they do with their own peoples—the destruction of the family, cultural and national identity, perversion, mockery of children, and pedophilia are declared the norm.”
He’s not wrong. I’m not sure he’s even exaggerating.
In a sane world, the U.S. President would promptly get on video and respond by ticking off the list of American virtues: the Judeo-Christian ethics of the Bible, rugged individualism, radical self-reliance, liberty, and justice, for starters. But today’s Democrat party has rejected the notion of “virtue” along with all those traditional American values, in favor of a rainbow quilt stitched together from unrelated aspirational nonsense words like equity, inclusion, and diversity, which only prove Putin’s point.
To modern democrats, being “virtuous” is bad. Valuing virtues is sinning against woke law, by discriminating against people who don’t agree with your value system or think the same things are virtuous. The new virtue is to be transgressive and edgy. The entire concept of virtue has been turned upside-down and inside-out. In fact, it’s now virtuous to ridicule virtue, although you can’t call it “virtuous.”
Anyway, Putin enjoys sky-high approval ratings from the Russian people, despite countless failed corporate media predictions about his imminent death, removal from office, or loss of popularity. The proxy war with NATO in Ukraine also enjoys similarly high approval ratings with Russians.
Tucker and I are not the only ones who think Biden is really angling for being remembered for kicking off a world war. President Trump released a short clip yesterday in which he soberly accused the Biden Administration of recklessly dragging the country to the very brink of World War III:
Similarly, Governor DeSantis thinks we shouldn’t be getting into any proxy wars or conflicts with Russia. He called Russia a third-rate military power, and thinks it has been gravely wounded during the Ukraine conflict, and would not be any threat even if Russia ultimately wins in Ukraine. DeSantis thinks China is the bigger threat, and we should stop pushing Russia and China together.
🚀 That’s a lot of pretty alarming war news. How should we feel about it? I think we should relax and not become fearful about World War III. I realize that suggestion triggers a bunch of folks, just like the first time I wrote that we shouldn’t get fearful about covid.
Think about this fact: the only way we know about any of this war news is because the same government entities responsible for the pandemic are telling us. Most news stories are based on something somebody in government SAID. The state department SAID. Biden SAID. Putin SAID. Zelenskyy SAID.
(True, we get some limited independent news from Ukraine, but it is buried under an avalanche of fake news and active disinformation.)
These are all the same people who we already know want to keep us fearful and reliant.
On Tuesday Biden bravely went to Kiev. You saw the videos. How’d the city look to you? To me, it looked clean and well-maintained. It looked nothing like a capital that’s been at war against a much bigger, better-supplied enemy for the last year. I’m not saying they’re faking it. I’m suggesting they are lying about EVERYTHING, to the point that we can’t be sure WHAT is actually happening.
All we know for sure is: they want us scared. So … don’t be scared. That’s the first, most important step in how we fight back.
🔥 Moving back to domestic news, Tennessee State Representative Bud Hulsey (R) filed HB0726, “Restoring State Sovereignty Through Nullification Act”, which if passed would provide an automatic legislative pathway for Tennessee to nullify (ignore) unconstitutional laws. When the reporter asked Hulsey for an example of a law he would consider nullifying, he immediately cited the OSHA jab mandate.
I won’t even try to handicap the bill’s chances in Tennessee, or get into whether a State legally can selectively nullify federal laws or, in the case of the OSHA mandate, federal agency regulations. Let’s just enjoy another example of the fruit of pandemic overreach as the pendulum continues swinging back toward freedom.
Also yesterday, Tennessee passed a new law criminalizing what it calls “adult cabaret entertainment” — i.e. drag — anywhere it could be seen by children, and defines such entertainment as including “adult-oriented” performances by strippers, go-go dancers or “male or female impersonators.”
Finally, the Washington Times ran a story yesterday headlined, “Trans Youth Care Ban Headed To Tennessee Governor’s Desk.”
Tennessee House lawmakers voted 77-16 on Thursday, including three democrats joining Republicans, to pass a bill banning “gender-affirming medical care” for children. It now heads for Governor Lee’s desk, and most analysts expect that he will sign it in to law.
Similar bills have advanced in Nebraska, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Dakota, and in Utah, the Republican governor recently signed a transgender medical ban into law.
The next battleground over these issues will be in the courts, so stand by.
🔥 This next item will be mostly interesting for our local C&Cers. Yesterday, a Florida Legislative Committee in Tallahassee gave Gainesville’s leftist mayor and other local officials a good grilling for over two hours. (In case you’re a new reader, I live in Gainesville, Florida, and battled the City over its various mandates for the last few years.)
The entire spectacle is wonderfully entertaining, although many of the topics will be opaque to people who don’t live here. The short version is ten years ago, the City-owned local utility bought a billion-dollar “green” biomass plant that (1) didn’t work, and (2) cost $500M more than it should have, leaving City of Gainesville residents owing $12,000 per person — a level of debt about four times higher than the next highest city in Florida — which is about $50,000 just in municipal debt for a family of four.
It’s hard to pick a favorite part, but to give you some flavor, at 1:48:00, our excellent State Senator Keith Perry begins speaking to the City about the its goofy “net zero” goal — especially considering how hopelessly underwater in debt the city is. There is no conceivable way they can pay for a bunch of new “net zero” projects.
Here’s how Senator Perry put it, very gently:
Thank you for coming up here … we support GRU and want to make sure it doesn’t go into default … But when you have a $1.7 billion dollar debt, when you have [utility] rates that are 40% higher for people, working class people… the biggest issue, why we’re here, is the biomass plant. I did some numbers on what the biomass plant cost that company to build. That individual, the company, who came down from New York City. That guy walked out of here with $585 million dollars in profit in about five years, that we’re going to be paying on forever.
My concern is — and my concern for the city — you want to be net-zero. That’s a goal. That’s understandable. I think what we deserve is: what does that cost? You want to be net-zero? Let’s be net-zero. Tell us what it’s going to cost. Not made up numbers. What is it going to cost? Not made up numbers like the biomass plant.
On the debt: Paying the minimum amount on your credit card bill, or less, doesn’t get you out of debt. And it certainly doesn’t get you out of debt if you charge more money and charge it on your credit card. And that’s what you’re doing.
You’ve already stated the goals. We know your goals, mayor. You want be be net-zero by 2045. What is it going to cost us? What’s it going to add to the debt? Be honest with us. And then live with the consequences. If that’s what your people want, you’ve said that’s what they want, great.
One committee member even floated the idea that if the City does not take “drastic action,” the State could replace the entire City Commission. That would be a dream come true for many residents. Or the state could withdraw funding, forcing the City into bankruptcy where it desperately needs to be.
Anyway, while this item is more one of local interest, it’s also additional evidence of the general groundswell of pandemic pushback. Maybe this audit committee would’ve happened anyway. But during the pandemic, Gainesville and the County continuously and repeatedly stuck their thumbs into the State’s eye, often going on national news shows, literally accusing Florida officials of killing people, wanting people to die, and all kinds of other deranged nonsense.
Now that the pandemic is over, the State is looking into the City’s business and guess what? Big problemos.
This is what I was constantly warning local officials about during the pandemic: someday this thing is going to be over, but people are going to remember what you did here and how you did it. Already the state has pruned local officials’ emergency powers down to a nub. Pending bills will imposed extremely short school board term limits, and will give parents a much bigger role in education.
And I suspect that, on a thousand committees like this audit committee, people are starting to look hard at the worst pandemic offenders.
If you’re in a state where this hasn’t started to happen yet, be patient! The longer the overreach continues, the stronger the pushback will be. Remember: Florida was a purple state when the pandemic started. And think about previously-blue Virginia. It can happen. Keep focused, work on your voting integrity issues, and stay local, local, local.
We ARE getting there. Maybe not uniformly, but steadily. And you know what they say about moving slowly and steadily and winning races.
Have a fabulous Friday! I’ll see you back here tomorrow for more.
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